AT202 – Assistive Technology Man Cave! (The dudes: Scott Fogo, Jeremy Curry, Ben Trockman, & Wade Wingler)

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Your weekly dose of information that keeps you up to date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs.

Show Notes:

Assistive Technology Man Cave:

Dudes:

Scott Fogo, VP of Clinical Services at Easter Seals Crossroads | 317-466-2013 | www.EasterSealsCrossroads.org

Ben Trockman, Employment & Outreach Specialist at Old National Bank | ben.trockman@oldnational.com

Jeremy Curry, Director of Product Management at AiSquared | jcurry@aisquared.com | @j_curry

Wade Wingler, Director of Assistive Technology at Easter Seals Crossroads | www.EasterSealsTech.com

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——-transcript follows ——

 

SCOTT FOGO: Hi, I’m Scott Fogo, Vice President of Clinical Services here at Easter Seals Crossroads, and this is your Assistive Technology Man Cave.

BEN TROCKMAN: This is Ben Trockman, Community Outreach and Employment Specialist at Old National Bank, and this is your Assistive Technology Man Cave.

JEREMY CURRY: Hi, this is Jeremy Curry, Director of Product Management for AiSquared, and this is your Assistive Technology Man Cave.

WADE WINGLER: Hi, this is Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana with your Assistive Technology Update, a weekly dose of information that keeps you up-to-date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs.


Welcome to a very special episode of Assistive Technology Update. We are doing something out of the ordinary, totally different today, and it’s called assistive technology Man Cave. Next week we’ll be back to our regular format of news and interviews, but today we’ve got a special treat for you. So hold on to your seats, guys. And ladies, you might just want to push fast-forward and pick us up again next week because this is a show of just manly stuff. Ah, no, you can listen. Maybe. I don’t know. Here we go.

[Heavy Metal Music]

Assistive Technology Man Cave

WADE WINGLER: So today we are breaking from our regular format of news and interviews, and we’re going to do something decidedly manly. This is our first episode of Assistive Technology Man Cave. Really, it’s sort of a rebuttal to a show we did a few years ago called AT For Girls. In that situation, we had a group of women here talking about makeup and clothes and dating and motherhood. I had very little to add to the conversation. But today, it’s time for the dudes to have their day. Today we’re going to talk about is technology that’s more manly by nature. So we may grunts; we may or may not have a keg sitting here in the studio; and there is certainly a game playing on the big screen right here in the background.

I am joined today by three friends of mine who are manly and have experience with assistive technology and disability services. I have first dude is sitting here in the city with me: Scott Fogo is the Vice President of Clinical Services here at crossroads, and my boss, so we have to behave a little bit. Scott, welcome.

SCOTT FOGO: Thank you.

WADE WINGLER: Also on the Internet, we are being joined by Ben Trockman, calling in to us from Evansville, Indiana. He is with Old National Bank. Ben, are you there?

BEN TROCKMAN: Sorry, I was just opening my beverage. I’m good.

WADE WINGLER: Welcome aboard, brother. Jeremy Curry is the Director of Product Manager for AiSquared. Jeremy, are you online?

JEREMY CURRY: Yeah, how’s it going? Good to be here.

WADE WINGLER: Good. So excited that you’re here. Guys, so that people understand your backgrounds a little bit, I’m going to ask you to go around, tell me a little bit about your job, your background, and then tell me by your man cave. Jeremy, I’m going to start with you.

JEREMY CURRY: Yeah, so I work for AiSquared, and we make Zoom Text, Window Eyes, and Site Cues. I’m low vision, but I travel around with a guide dog. My man cave tends to be pretty mobile, lots of different mobile technologies that I use because I’m on the road quite a bit. So I’m not only interested in providing assistance technology for people who are blind or low vision, but I use it every day.

WADE WINGLER: Excellent. Ben?

BEN TROCKMAN: My background comes with assistive technology from my injury that I sustained. In 2006, I was involved in a motor cross accident that left me paralyzed from the neck down. So it was a new experience for me, obviously, getting used to all the different technologies that are available now. I do a lot of work from home. I do a lot of school from home. So my man cave is straight out of my phone office and bedroom, which by the way, is surrounded by sports memorabilia and a really awesome Jimi Hendrix poster.

I use a special chair which I think is big for me for assistive technology. It gets me to where I need to go to operate the computer which I’m using right now to talk to you dudes. I have Dragon NaturallySpeaking which is voice recognition software. All of you out there probably know a little bit about that. I use Skype for phone calls. I’m looking for a new solution there. I’m always open to opinions. I also have a voice recognition remote control that is like five years old, kinda works, but I’m looking at new technology for TV’s. But that’s a little bit about my own man cave here in my bedroom.

WADE WINGLER: Excellent. And we’re going to get into more specifics and come back to a couple of those things. Scott, a little bit about your background, your interest in assistive technology, and your man cave?

SCOTT FOGO: My man cave. I’ve been a social worker for over 26 years and the Vice President of Clinical Services here at Easter Seals Crossroads. One of the things that I’ve seen is that equalizer in promoting independence and dignity. My man cave is somewhat embarrassing. But I’m going to go for it. My man cave is all about a home office. I’m a doctoral student so most of my time when I’m not here at Easter Seals Crossroads is within that space. So I’m going to focus on lots of things that ensure my comfort but also make me really functional in the time that I have at home.

WADE WINGLER: In your brainy man cave.

SCOTT FOGO: My brainy man cave.

WADE WINGLER: Dr. Man Cave. There you go. My audience knows me. I’ve been working in the field of assistive technology for over 20 years. That’s kind of what I breathe and eat and sleep all the time it seems like. My man cave is probably not the manliest thing. I’m not a sports fan, but I do like to have some technology in my house. I’m interested in robotics and home automation and stuff like that as well. I may have something to pitch in here.

I want to get to some specific technologies. Ben, I want to start with you because you and I have had a chance to spend some time together. You told me recently that you’re working on a house. You have some specific technologies related to your home. What’s going on there?

BEN TROCKMAN: It’s really cool. We have a chance to build a new home so we get to start from scratch. It’s one thing to build on to your home and try to add things that work for you, but we get to start from square one. One of the cool things that we are installing in our house is we are starting with the basement. It’s going to be a two-floor home with an upstairs and the basement. Obviously you need an elevator to get down with my wheelchair. I think to myself, okay, how am I going to get up-and-down? I was searching the Internet and found some really neat stuff on how to get done independently without having to say hey, so-and-so, come push this button with me. So we are installing these push buttons that are almost on the floor where I can pull up in my chair and pushed the button with my foot so that the door will open. Once I get inside of the elevator, I would do the same thing to say I’m inside. The elevator will go down. So that’s a really cool technology for me. I’m excited about just having the independence to be able to go up and down the elevator. It doesn’t sound like something a lot of people would even think about, but being able to say I’m going to go upstairs or downstairs and making that decision whenever I want is pretty cool.

WADE WINGLER: I was going to make a joke. There’s a lot of manly elevator songs that we can be playing in the background. I’ll see if I can dig one up.

BEN TROCKMAN: I’m definitely looking up the best manly elevator songs that I can find.

WADE WINGLER: So after you get the whole elevator thing figured out, you’re going to have to have some relaxation. He told me you’re looking at some TV related stuff?

BEN TROCKMAN: Yeah, actually, it’s really neat. I was just looking on the computer earlier. There’s the Samsung Smart TV, which all TVs are smart TVs these days, but I think there is this technology where we can utilize voice control without pressing any buttons. I’ve had a lot of experience where it says you don’t have to press a button but you really do. I’m thinking that this one might finally be the one where, hey, I can get down the elevator down by myself and pull up the TV myself and maybe turn it on. So it’s really cool. We’re going to add another computer downstairs so I can keep up with my fantasy football and stuff. That’s all voice recognition. We are always looking into new things. I know it’s expensive, but I’ve seen technology for lights and fans and turning up the temperature. It’s really exciting to start something new that will be really accessible in your home.

WADE WINGLER: That whole world of voice-recognition and less expensive home automation is really opening up. I think there’s some pretty exciting stuff going on there.

Scott, in your smart man cave, you’re working in her PhD right now and I know you and I talk a lot. You spend a lot of time in seclusion working on that kind of stuff. Tell us about your academic flair to your man cave.

SCOTT FOGO: Some of the need for seclusion has to do with some of the things that I found myself with. Some of the simple stuff, just noise cancellation headphones with a mic because I do interact with other students in the program occasionally. My Bluetooth speakers, got to have my music. Trying to get the rest of the world gone. My man cave includes multiple monitors. I like having big monitors around for research purposes. Again, anything that kind of brings in comfort and function. So a comfy chair. I need my beverage warmer close at hand. I’m a geeky man cave dude, too. I like all of my plugs to be there so when I’m charging my phone I want to make sure all of those plugs are accessible. I hate getting on the ground to try to find stuff. I just love these cable drop things so it’s all very accessible.

Lighting is also an issue for me. I know it is for many listeners who have some low vision challenges. I’m always bringing in lamps and things closer to me. It’s one of the things that I’m focused on right now, is trying to figure out how to get good lighting. Some say that I might be getting older. They don’t call them bifocals anymore. I think they’re “progressive lenses.”

WADE WINGLER: Oh, is that what they’re called?

SCOTT FOGO: Some balancing lighting and the monitors and my fatigue seems to be one of my challenges.

WADE WINGLER: Yeah, that’s cool. Those are all things that I think are relevant, even possibly outside of a man cave. But don’t tell the ladies because they don’t need to know about that.

SCOTT FOGO: I have everything in a manly color.

WADE WINGLER: So Jeremy, you’re the rogue warrior. Tell us what’s going on with your mobile men case.

JEREMY CURRY: I tend to use an iPad to be able to access my TV and stuff. So for example, I’m sitting here in front of my gigantic 60-inch plasma. TVs can never be big enough.

WADE WINGLER: Wow, 60-inch plasma.

SCOTT FOGO: I think the show is over. I have nothing else to say. Curry just played the trump card.

WADE WINGLER: Boom, 60-inch plasma. Take that, guy-with-a-dog.

JEREMY CURRY: I get the TV big enough just so my dog can see it.

SCOTT FOGO: It is about the dog.

JEREMY CURRY: But even at that big, since I’m low vision, I still can’t see — you know, you bring up the DirecTV menu and you’re like, what does that say? Rather than ask my wife, I use the app on my iPad. Pull it up, and I can change channels. Which is great because if for some reason my wife has taken the remote the way — I don’t know why that would ever happen.

WADE WINGLER: I have a couple ideas. She saw the bill for the-60 inch.

BEN TROCKMAN: She’s not listening, right? Oh, no.

JEREMY CURRY: So I use it to control the TV that way, or if I’m out on the road I have the DirecTV Genie Go. So anything I want to record or watch, I can just watch while I’m on the road and I can bring it close to me and see it. So a lot of that is mobile. Basically anybody who knows me, whenever I’m dealing with technology, they see me with a backpack on all the time because I got all of my little trinkets and toys to make sure I can access everything. And then when I’m in my home, my home office/man cave, I’ve got some other stuff like the Bose sound link mini. I like to have that immersive sound as a lot of people with visual impairments do to make sure I can cast out the rest of the world. Even right now my Bose noise canceling headphones. That immersiveness in the audio is really important to me. That way all it blocks out all of the extra stuff so I can focus on what I’m trying to do.

WADE WINGLER: I think that’s important. I think a lot of this stuff talks about the personalization of technology and the fact that we kind of want our technology and our experience the way we want it because, after all, it’s a man cave, right?

JEREMY CURRY: Absolutely.

WADE WINGLER: So, Ben, I was at your office not too long ago, and I have to tell you, your office kind of looks like the cockpit of the space shuttle. You’ve got a lot of high tech stuff going on there. Tell me a little bit about your work man cave and what you’re using to be productive there.

BEN TROCKMAN: I didn’t get the chance to hang up my Jimi Hendrix poster at the bank. I try to keep it as manly as possible, a little baseball, that kind of stuff. In my office, being able to pull up to a larger screen that has been installed has been so beneficial, because it’s hard to view just normal documents, websites, whatever it may be that you’re working on at your office if you’re looking at a 17 inch screen. So we’ve installed a bracket that holds a 38 inch screen television that works with our monitor so that I can see everything that I’m working on. Old National has done a great job with equipping me with things I need to be comfortable in the office. Obviously adding to the computer is Dragon NaturallySpeaking so that I can control everything. Also one of the neat things, which didn’t know about and I wish I would’ve known for a while is Cisco phone. I’m able to answer and place calls from my computer at work. I’m used to just sitting next to my computer, watching my cell phone ring, it’s Wade calling, get on Skype and I call Wade back after he got done, because I can’t pick up my phone and I can’t answer it. But with the Cisco technology, I’m able to answer the phone calls. So it’s really neat. It’s the things you don’t think about that give you the independence to make it your man cave but also to make it so that you’re able to do things yourself. It’s exciting to find these new technologies.

Wade, when you came out a couple weeks ago, we talked about automatic doors. For me, I’ve had a few times where I left the office and had someone let me out the internal door so I could go check a conference room. All of a sudden, I come back and the door is locked and there’s nobody to let me in. I’m locked out. I’m thinking, oh, crap, where do I go now? How do I get in? Finding technologies to make things easier is always exciting. It’s good to be able to work with people like yourself and talk to all of you guys about these needs new things that are happening so other people can not only give suggestions but maybe hear things that we are working on.

WADE WINGLER: Thank you. I appreciate your kind words. We are excited to do that kind of work and excited to work with dudes like you, especially when we talk about manly stuff. Speaking of dudes, Jeremy, is your man card being revoked soon? You guys are expecting a little girl, right?

JEREMY CURRY: Yeah, a little baby girl coming at the end of April. So the estrogen level will be going up in the house.

WADE WINGLER: Well, congratulations, but really, what is that going to do with your man cave? Is it going to be a baby nursery now?

JEREMY CURRY: I was excited because my wife and I both had our own rooms in addition to our bedroom. I get to keep all of my stuff in place, my CCTV and all the stuff I have and there. It has been invaded.

WADE WINGLER: Sounds like it.

JEREMY CURRY: My wife is moving her stuff in there. But it’s all good. I can’t be more excited for the baby. It’s our first child so it’s going to be awesome. I’m already looking at technologies that are going to help with that. Ben was talking about home automation. I really love that stuff. One of the things I invested in is a drop cam because I can use it as a baby monitor from my phone or my iPad or wherever I happen to be, and I can magnify it. I can set it if there are certain things happening, it will notify me. I can set recording times into the clouds that I want to. I can even share with them if I want to say look in on the baby when she’s sleeping. There are some definite changes that are being made, but they are all positive and I keep finding new ways to incorporate off-the-shelf AT, I guess I’ll call it, to make things easier.

SCOTT FOGO: I think we’re going to need a three-month follow-up to the show. I think he’s going to be starting to talk a little funnier. I don’t know, a little more goo-ing and gah-ing.

WADE WINGLER: I don’t know.

SCOTT FOGO: You’re on probation.

JEREMY CURRY: I’m on probation.

WADE WINGLER: I’m glad you said drop cams, because we’ve been using those for baby monitors in our house because we’ve got little kids as well. I recently installed one right outside of Scott’s office so that I can see what’s going on down there.

Scott, one of the things that you and I talked about before the show was a lot of times this man cave stuff, all kidding aside, is about sitting on a couch and watching people be physically active but not necessarily being physically active yourself. That’s an important issue for folks with all kinds of disabilities. Can you talk to me little bit about that?

SCOTT FOGO: It’s a concern for us at Easter Seals Crossroads and certainly in the disability community as a whole. There have been a number of studies that show that there is a disparity of access to healthcare for people with disabilities. Men aren’t necessarily the first that run to the doctor when there’s a problem. So we are already at a disadvantage because of that testosterone, then we add in disability, and that offers a whole another twist. We know that doctors need to be better prepared to work with individuals with disabilities. Believe it or not, it’s not a regular part of a physician’s training. So we need to do what we can to not down those walls. Gentlemen, as we are doing that, we had to figure out yeah, enjoying our man cave, but doing what we can. I have to be aware of the snacks that I’m having during the sedentary time, do whatever exercises you can do, being mindful, getting outcome of breathing air that the circulated in your man cave all the time. Doing what we can to bring awareness to that. We just went through the holidays with No Shave November. I was surprised to realize folks weren’t realizing that’s about men’s health care awareness. We need to be more mindful of that. Too many people, especially with disabilities, are being diagnosed with later stage types of issues, cancers and the types of chronic situations that are really dangerous if they are not identified early. That’s my vote for, enjoy a man cave but get out and do what you can, in spite of that physical wellbeing and health. That’s something about our minds that when our body, mind, spirit, yeah, it’s real.

WADE WINGLER: For sure. Thanks for covering the topic without being too much of a buzz kill.

SCOTT FOGO: I’m sorry.

BEN TROCKMAN: I was going to say, things got get real serious, man. Maybe I’ll run some laps and bring some air.

SCOTT FOGO: What I meant to say is if you work out, grunt a lot.

WADE WINGLER: Ben, whip out your Jimi Hendrix poster.

SCOTT FOGO: Exactly, I’m sorry.

WADE WINGLER: All right, guys, we’re going to pull up from that. Quick round the horn as we close out the show here. If money and technology were no barrier, what would be the ultimate addition to your man cave? Scott, I’m going to start with you.

SCOTT FOGO: it’s that zero gravity massage chair, along with that complete gym in my office. Opportunity for treadmill desk, standing desk, sitting desk, laying desk, and that beverage dispenser, so when I start a paper I need the Diet Coke, and when I’m close to the end, more of an adult beverage dispenser.

WADE WINGLER: There you go, not bad. Jeremy?

JEREMY CURRY: There are so many things. I think one of the things that would be awesome, I love the home automation, and Apple is working on the home kit. I’m really liking these automated locks that I’ve seen out there. Especially if I can install one of those on my man cave —

SCOTT FOGO: On which side of the door?

WADE WINGLER: In a baby gate.

JEREMY CURRY: Those are some of the things I’ve been thinking about quite a bit. I recently got the Nest thermostat. I’ll tell you what, that thing is been a blessing because I can change my temperature in my house from wherever I am, warm it up, cool it down, without ever getting off my couch. The home automation thing is just pure awesome. Anything I can do to automate my house more, walk in a room and have certain lights come on, maybe have the lighting adjust as the daytime gets brighter. I’m very photo phobic. My eyes a very light-sensitive. Those kinds of things would be very awesome to have.

SCOTT FOGO: It’s interesting that you use the word automate when I was hearing you say maintain control over the thermostat. Did I hear that right?

JEREMY CURRY: I got to tell you, you can put a code into the nest thermostat and you can set the range. So if you want to temperature to stay on one temperature, unless you know the code, it doesn’t matter how much you turn it.

SCOTT FOGO: So you say automation and I say control.

WADE WINGLER: My question is, is Erin going to give you the code or not?

JEREMY CURRY: I keep asking —

WADE WINGLER: Guys, this has been a ton of fun today. We’re going to go one more time around the horn. If people want to reach out to you as individuals, do you have any contact information you’d like to share?

SCOTT FOGO: Scott Fogo here at Easter Seals Crossroads. Through our website or our phone number, 317-466-1000.

WADE WINGLER: Jeremy?

JEREMY CURRY: You can email me, jcurry@aisquared.com. You can follow me on twitter @jeremy_curry. Or you can follow AiSquared on Twitter @aisquared. Or there is something called a phone I think people still use once in a while. 802-362-3612.

WADE WINGLER: Excellent. Ben?

BEN TROCKMAN: My email addresses ben.trockman@oldnation.com. You can always reach me on those fancy devices. Yes, I believe they call them phones. They are also mobile phones too. 812-468-7898

WADE WINGLER: Gentlemen, thank you so much for spending some time with us today in the assistive technology man cave. We appreciate you being here.

SCOTT FOGO: Thank you.

BEN TROCKMAN: Absolutely.

JEREMY CURRY: Thanks, Wade.

WADE WINGLER: Do you have a question about assistive technology? Do you have a suggestion for someone we should interview on Assistive Technology Update? Call our listener line at 317-721-7124. Looking for show notes from today’s show? Head on over to EasterSealstech.com. Shoot us a note on Twitter @INDATAProject, or check us out on Facebook. That was your Assistance Technology Update. I’m Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana.